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Forum on the Judiciary Panel

Learn more about the panelists speaking at the upcoming Forum on the Judiciary event on April 16 at AACC.

Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera 
Court of Appeals of Maryland
Judge Barbera received her Bachelor's of Science degree from Towson State College and her Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland School of Law. Judge Barbera has a diverse legal background including Assistant Attorney General, Deputy Chief of Criminal Appeals Division with the Office of the Attorney General, member of the Task Force to Examine Crime Victims’ Rights Laws in Maryland and Legal Counsel for the Office of the Governor (1999-2002). In January of 2002, she was appointed Judge for the Court of Special Appeals.On September 2, 2008, Judge Barbera was appointed to the Court of Appeals. In July 2013 she was then appointed as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals. 

Magistrate Judge J. Mark Coulson 
United States District Court for the District of Maryland

Magistrate Judge Coulson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and raised in Montgomery County, Maryland. He is attended La Salle University, graduating magna cum laude and outstanding senior in his major in 1985. He received his J.D. from Duke University School of Law, graduating Order of the Coif in 1991. Judge Coulson worked as an associate at Miles & Stockbridge in Baltimore, Maryland, ultimately becoming a principal of the firm in 2000. He handled a wide variety of civil cases, including the trail of a significant number of cases involving catastrophic injury. In 2010 he was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. 

Judge Timothy E. Meredith
Court of Special Appeals of Maryland

Judge Meredith was born in Easton, Maryland. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in economics from Western Maryland College.  He then graduated from Duke University School of Law and was admitted to the Maryland Bar.  Following a clerkship for the Hon. Marvin Smith on the Court of Appeals of Maryland, Judge Meredith engaged in private practice for several years serving as a partner.  In 2004 he was appointed to the Court of Special Appeals representing the Fifth Appellate Circuit which is comprised of Anne Arundel, Calvert, and St. Mary’s Counties.  In addition to his responsibilities as a judge, he is a member of the Technology Oversight Board and has received numerous awards from the Anne Arundel Bar Association.

Judge Laura S. Kiessling 
Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County

Judge Kiessling received her Bachelor's Degree from Lehigh University and her Juris Doctor from the Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America. From 1991 to 2006 she served as an Assistant State's Attorney for Anne Arundel County where she served on the Sexual Offense and Child Abuse Trail Team, and in 2006 became a Deputy State's Attorney and Chief of the Hate Crimes Prosecution Unit from 2001 until 2010. On February 19, 2010 she was appointed as an associate judge to the circuit court.

Judge John P. McKenna 
District Court of Maryland 
John Peter McKenna, Jr., District Administrative Judge, District Court of Maryland, District 7, Anne Arundel County, since August 1, 2007 (Associate Judge since December 6, 2002). Member, Judicial Education Committee, District Court of Maryland, 2005-; Administrative Judges Committee, 2007. Member Judicial Conference, 2008. Former Assistant State's Attorney, Prince George's County, Associate County Attorney, Prince George's County, 1996-. Georgetown University, B.S. (business administration, 1975; University of Maryland School of Law, J.D., 1978. Admitted to Maryland Bar. Attorney, O'Malley, Miles, Nylen & Gilmore, 1988-2002. Member, Maryland State Bar Association; Anne Arundel County Bar Association (chair, administrative division, 2008-09); Prince George's County Bar Association. Member, Maryland Association for Justice (formerly Maryland Trial Lawyers Association); Marlborough Inn of Court. Member, Knights of Columbus; St. Edward's Catholic Church. 

Master in Chancery Cynthia M. Ferris 
Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County

Master Ferris received her undergraduate degree from Temple University in Pennsylvania, and her Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore School of Law. She then served as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Anne Arundel County for almost twenty years where she became Chief of Circuit Court Trial Team Leaders, Sexual Offense Trial Team. In 1997 she was appointed as a Master in Chancery for the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County. In addition to her membership in numerous professional associations, Master Ferris has also served as an adjunct faculty in the Legal Studies Institute at Anne Arundel Community College, where she has taught Domestic Relations and Introduction to Paralegal Studies.